The Formula 4 Central European Zone championship is looking to double its grid size for 2024 and make a long-sought for trip to Oschersleben.
Launched last year as a series for second-generation F4 cars but also open to first-generation machines, ACCR F4 ended up being classified as a trophy rather than a series due to being absorbed into other single-seater series and also becoming dependant on Gen1 entries.
This year it relaunched as ACCR Czech Formula, and was renamed F4 CEZ once formal FIA certification came after round two. Despite the teething troubles, F4 CEZ has made a solid but low-profile start in 2023, gaining plaudits from competitors.
“On average we’ve had eight cars,” F4 CEZ’s promoter Josek Krenek told Formula Scout. “But what is positive is that I know that there are already five or six more cars on order, so I can imagine that next year we would have 14 to 18 cars, which I think is absolutely sufficient for our second season.”
“We are very happy with the championship,” Jenzer Motorsport boss Andreas Jenzer enthused. “It’s very well-organised; a fantastic little championship which really deserves to have its chance. I am really sure that it has its place in Europe.”
Having migrated from the defunct ADAC F4 series, Sauter Engineering+Design’s Stephan Sauter praised the “excellent calendar with great circuits; it is a diverse, international field, which makes it exciting”. He added “it’s amazing that there aren’t more teams here”.
Despite dropping out after three rounds, Renauer Motorsport has recently tested drivers ahead of a planned 2024 return. Team owner Sepp Renauer is convinced a field of 15 to 20 cars is realistic, “at least judging by the number of phone calls I’ve had asking me whether I want to sell my cars!”. He reckons “it will be easier to find drivers for ” than before.
Delayed deliveries of Gen2 chassis last year inevitably caused complications for teams. As Renauer jokes: “I had two drivers but no cars. Then we got the cars and my drivers were gone!”
As costs have ballooned elsewhere in F4, Krenek is determined to keep budgets below €100,000, which teams appreciate. Although Jenzer and PHM have swept the wins so far, nobody wants to see any team become too big or dominant.
“We are happy about everybody that comes,” Krenek said, but stressed the need to develop teams and drivers from the region rather than becoming “a testing opportunity for larger, richer teams”.
Inevitably larger teams have benefitted in both directions, but the presence of technicians from engine supplier Autotecnica recently at Most helped smaller teams access the most up-to-date engine management software.
A draft six-round calendar is already in place for 2024, although a few venues are awaiting confirmation.
The Oschersleben season opener is dependent on approval from the German federation (with this year’s planned round there falling foul of a change in the FIA Sporting Code prohibiting zonal championships from racing outside their region), and the Hungaroring’s place is in doubt due to planned paddock reconstruction work. Hungary’s new Balaton Park circuit should feature.